This time one year ago…
I was in the hospital. The contractions were getting closer and closer together. We were so nervous, and so excited at the same time in fact we were getting ready to make just about the biggest change of our entire lives. Alex and I were (relatively) newly wed, and already we were gearing up to welcome a third member into our family!
I honestly don’t think that there is a bigger change you can make to your lifestyle than going from a two to three person family. I mean, I just had no idea. I thought I did. But I didn’t. Knowing how to change a diaper, and actually DOING it, at three am on a work night, when you haven’t gotten a drop of sleep, and forgot to eat dinner – there’s a big difference! When Mr. William joined our family our laid back, easy going lifestyle got thrown for a loop!
On top of the normal life changes that happen with a newborn, we were further caught off gaurd, when, at only two and a half months, our perfect little baby had to be hospitalized. He was having horrible gastro-intestinal issues and loosing weight, coming in at only .042 on the percentile chart. Only a mamma who has had to hold her tiny screaming 2 month old while the doctor desperately tries to get an IV in his little foot can understand how scary that was. Even just thinking about it now makes me tear up. My little boy was such a fighter though, he still managed to make us smile even with that needle in him. We had to have him on fluids for almost a week before the doctors finally made the executive decision to take him off. They thought it was a lactose allergy. But when we tried the dairy free formula, all his symptoms instantly flared back up, and he was back on the IV. Finally, we discovered that it was a common protein shared by milk and soy. He was even allergic to breast milk (which had been the original problem). Within days after switching to a hypoallergenic formula, our baby boy started to act himself again. He started gaining weight, moving around more, and just having more life in general.
It was so hard at first, especially when it came to buying food – almost everything has soy, vegetable oil, lecithin or a form of milk in it – even lotions and perfumes – it’s ridiculous. But we started reading labels and doing research. We’ve had a few incidents since then, but once we knew the symptoms, and the triggers for his allergy, it got easier.
One year later, and we’ve adjusted, we’ve made changes, and life is starting to normalize finally. It will never be the same though, and I don’t think it should be. Having a kid gave us responsibilities that simply couldn’t be managed if we were to still live the way we used to. It changed our priorities. Before, I couldn’t have imagined giving up a wine and dine girls night to stay in and play with blocks, but now I do it all the time! (Sorry ladies! 🙂 )
There’s just something that changes inside when you become a mamma – or at least it did for me! Now the highlight of my day isn’t happy hour, it’s getting the munchkin from daycare and seeing his smile light up when I walk in the door. Watching him hit milestones – his first tooth, first step, first word – those are what I look forward to the most now.
Of course, that being said, I am still me, too. My love of cooking, traveling, and gardening didn’t go away the minute he was born. But I have had to adjust my lifestyle – I just simply don’t have the time anymore.
Where before I would have a home cooked meal on the table every single night, I now aim for every other, with leftovers filling in the days that I’m not cooking (or the occasional Amy’s frozen dinner when the leftover situation is not happening! :P) I used to spend MONTHS planning my garden down to the square inch – while I still did plan it this year, I didn’t start anything from seed – instead I’m going to be buying heirloom varieties that have already been started and just need to be transplanted outside. Sure it will cost a bit more, and I won’t get the whole seed to dirt to table effect, but I’ll still have yummy organic tomatoes growing in my garden! It’s a game of compromise. Even our travel, as much as I didn’t want to change it, has had to be adjusted. We have a third member of the family now, who doesn’t do the best on long car rides! Not to mention international air travel!! So we’re adjusting, starting out small – little trips to grandma’s house, short flights to the coast. I know this is all just a phase – soon enough he’ll be independent and I’ll be able to do more of what I love again – and then I’ll be wishing that he still needed his mamma like he used to.
Even this morning, when I dropped him off at daycare, I could already see the independent streak starting to show as he happily walked through the front door (by himself!) waved good bye to me, and ran off to play with his friends – and he’s only one!!! I’m already a mess, I can’t imagine what it will be like when he takes the car out for his first solo drive!! Time goes so fast, and it seems only days ago that he was a tiny little bug and we were driving him home for the very first time. Now he’s walking and climbing, and chattering up a storm, and soon I know that chatter will turn into real words and he’s going to keep growing up, whether I want it or not. I’m doing my best to just live in the present and enjoy every stage of this for what it is. My perfect little munchkin. 🙂
Happy Birthday Mr. William, Mamma Loves You!!!! 🙂